We left The Bahamas through Seal Cay Cut in the
northern Abacos on 10th June 2005, having chosen to make a direct offshore run to Charleston, South
Carolina, which was a mainly northerly run of 400 nm. This was our longest
non-stop trip so far and took 3 days.
The sea was rough so it turned out to be a fairly
uncomfortable journey. Despite this, we sailed all the way and only used
the engine for the occasional battery charge.
On the advice of our weather guru, Chris Parker, we
headed north east for the first 80 miles to avoid any adverse current,
before heading slightly west of north to pick up the advantageous Gulf
Stream into Charleston.
Most of the way we were accompanied by a Tropic Bird, a
pure white seabird found in The Bahamas with a very long tail.
We kept 2 hour watches for the whole trip, but also set
a 4 nm guard zone on our radar set so that anything large enough for it to
pick up would initiate an alarm. This was very useful. We saw a great deal
of shipping, but only had to change course once to go astern of the
container ship, the CMA Potomac.
We arrived offshore Charleston on 12th June, then made the 20 mile approach to the harbour, staying just outside the marked
shipping channel until the last two miles. This is a very busy harbour and
the last thing we wanted was to be swamped by a container ship.
After a fairly tiring trip, we chose to go into
Charleston City Marina for one night to ease US entry clearance and have a
good night's sleep.